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Home >> Medicial Conditions >> Depression Symptoms & Treatment

Types of Depression & Symptoms and Treatments

What is a depressive disorder? A depressive disorder is an illness that involves the body, mood, and thoughts. It affects the way a person eats and sleeps, the way one feels about oneself, and the way one thinks about things. It is not the same as "feeling blue" or a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with this type of illness cannot merely "pull themselves together" and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

What are the types of depression? There are different types with the three most common being major depression, dysthymia, and bipolar disorder. Major depression affects the ability to work, study, sleep, eat, and enjoy once pleasurable activities. Such a disabling episode may occur only once but more commonly occurs several times in a lifetime. Dysthymia is a less severe form and involves long term symptoms that do not disable, but keep one from functioning well or feeling good. Bipolar disorder is also called manic depressive illness. Bipolar disorder is characterized by cycling mood changes from severe highs (mania) to severe lows (depression). The mood changes can be dramatic and rapid but are usually gradual. Mania often affects thinking, judgment, and social behavior in ways that cause serious problems and embarrassment. For example, the individual in a manic phase may feel elated, full of grand schemes that might range from unwise business decisions to romantic sprees. Mania, left untreated, may worsen to a psychotic state.

What are the symptoms of depression and mania? Not everyone who is depressed or manic experiences all of the following symptoms. Some people experience a few symptoms, some many. Severity of symptoms varies with individuals and also varies over time. For those people who require long-term help it's important to seek out find an online pharmacy that  provides not only high quality medications at low prices, but also great service and can answers your questions on how to order/ buy prescription drugs online


Depression:

  • Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, pessimism
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Insomnia, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts
  • Restlessness, irritability
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders, and chronic pain

Mania:

  • Abnormal or excessive elation
  • Unusual irritability
  • Decreased need for sleep
  • Grandiose notions
  • Increased talking
  • Racing thoughts
  • Increased sexual desire
  • Markedly increased energy
  • Poor judgment
  • Inappropriate social behavior

 

What are the causes of depression? Some types of depression run in families, suggesting that a biological vulnerability can be inherited. This seems to be the case with bipolar disorder. However, additional factors, possibly stresses at home, work, or school, are involved in its onset. In some families, major depression also seems to occur generation after generation. However, it can also occur in people who have no family history of depression. Whether inherited or not, major depressive disorder is often associated with changes in brain structures or brain function. People who have low self-esteem, who consistently view themselves and the world with pessimism or who are readily overwhelmed by stress, are prone to depression. Whether this represents a psychological predisposition or an early form of the illness is not clear. In recent years, researchers have shown that physical changes in the body can be accompanied by mental changes as well. Medical illnesses such as stroke, a heart attack, cancer, Parkinson's disease, and hormonal disorders can cause depressive illness, making the sick person apathetic and unwilling to care for his or her physical needs, thus prolonging the recovery period. Also, a serious loss, difficult relationship, financial problem, or any stressful (unwelcome or even desired) change in life patterns can trigger a depressive episode. Very often, a combination of genetic, psychological, and environmental factors is involved in the onset of a depressive disorder. Later episodes of illness typically are precipitated by only mild stresses, or none at all.

Treatment? Treatment choice depends on evaluation. There are a variety of antidepressant medications and psychotherapies that can be used to treat depressive disorders. Some people with milder forms may do well with psychotherapy alone. People with moderate to severe depression most often benefit from antidepressants. Most do best with combined treatment: medication to gain relatively quick symptom relief and psychotherapy to learn more effective ways to deal with life's problems. Depending on the patient's diagnosis and severity of symptoms, the therapist may prescribe medication and/or one of the several forms of psychotherapy that have proven effective for this condition.

 


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